Apple is well known as a company that plays it close to the vest, however it gave ABC News an inside look at the top secret health and fitness lab, where Apple employees acted as test subjects for the upcoming Apple Watch.
Apple engineers, managers and developers have been secretly volunteering for the past year in this state-of-the-art lab to participate in rowing, running, yoga and many more fitness activities in order to collect data for the Apple Watch’s inner workings.
“[The employees] knew they were testing something, but they didn’t know it was for the Apple Watch,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s senior vice president of operations. “We hooked them up with all the masks and so forth, but we would put on an Apple Watch covered up.”
The Apple Watch debuted on stage at last September’s iPhone event, and will hit stores in April. The Apple Watch can track a user’s heart rate, distance walked, calories burned, and more.
Apple’s testing lab even includes “climate chambers” that can simulate various environments. The company also sent employees to different places around the world to test the Watch.
“We have traveled to Alaska and gone to Dubai to really test Apple Watch in all those environments, but we also wanted to be able to have a controlled environment here where we could see those extremes,” said Apple Director of Fitness and Health, Jay Blahnik.
The more the user wears the Apple Watch, the more health data it can collect.
Dr. Michael McConnell, a professor in cardiovascular medicine at Stanford Medicine who also directs school’s cardiovascular health innovation program, told ABC News the Apple Watch will be a game changer in cardiovascular technology.
“I think we’ve amassed already what may be one of the world’s largest pieces of data on fitness,” he said. “Our view is, we’re just beginning. We think there’s a lot to this fitness thing…the impact on health could be profound.”